Coming to Vietnam, one of the things that make tourists most worried is the traffic situation of this place. Hanoi has many means of transport, but if you are not native or unfamiliar with the traffic here, you will have a lot of difficulties in traveling between places. This guide to getting around in Hanoi below will introduce you to some of the most popular means of transport in Hanoi along with their pros and cons.
Pros: Walking is the cheapest type of transportation in Hanoi. In such a crowded city with many small alleys, especially the Old Quarter area, walking will be the optimum type of travel so you can easily explore every corner. It's highly recommended that you walk in the Old Quarter Area and around the two biggest lakes of Hanoi - West Lake and Hoan Kiem Lake. One thing to note, when walking, you must walk on the right side of the road. And not every place in Hanoi has the pedestrian line, so you should raise your hand toward the vehicles' direction to give the signal that you're crossing the road.
Check out our guide to Cross The Street in Vietnam.
Walking is an amazing way to explore Hanoi in every corner.
Cons: Walking is not appropriate if you have to move frequently between locations far away from each other. Sometimes, walking also makes you encounter some troubles like fraudulent hawkers. Besides, the weather in Hanoi - which is either scorching hot or freezing cold - may frustrate the joy of strolling on the streets.
Pros: Just like walking, cycling is ideal for you to explore every corner of Hanoi. Cycling on the roads around the West Lake or Hoan Kiem Lake is also a unique experience for visitors to enjoy the beauty of these areas.
Riding a bicycle around West Lake is a brilliant idea
Cons: With hot weather and the bad situation of Hanoi traffic, bicycles will not be the optimal choice for moving between locations far away from each other. Bicycle rents in the area near the Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake are not cheap, ranging from US $ 1.5 - US $ 2 / hour.
Pros: Cyclo is a great type of transport if you want to visit the most famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. On a cyclo, at a slow traveling speed, you can freely enjoy the beauty of the city.
Cyclos are mainly used for sightseeing
Cons: The cost for a cyclo ride is not very cheap, usually ranging from US $5 - US $10 per person, and you are likely to encounter a scam. Read more on Cyclo Scam in Vietnam.
Pros: Motorcycle is a convenient type of transportation if you want to travel between multiple locations. In Hanoi, there are also many places to rent motorbikes at affordable prices, about US $ 4 / day.
Motorcycles are the most popular type of transport in Hanoi
Cons: If you are not familiar with the streets here, riding a motorbike will be quite difficult for you to reach the destination easily. Also, the heavy traffic at rush hour here will also hinder your trip.
See out tips for Motorcycle Riding in Hanoi.
Pros: No different from using a motorbike, but you will have the chance to sit back and relax on the back seat. In Hanoi, there are two types of motorbike taxis, including traditional motorbike taxis and hi-tech motorbike taxis. For the traditional type, you can find a driver almost anywhere, especially near tourist attractions and bus stops. However, the price is slightly higher than hi-tech motorbike taxis, and you also run the risk of being scammed. Hi-tech motorbike taxis such as Grab, Go-Viet are more credible services that inform the price prior to your booking as well as a map to track your journey.
Motorcycle taxis are very flexible
Cons: Most of the drivers are non-English speakers, which poses quite a challenge for foreign visitors. If you call a traditional motorbike, you have to negotiate with the driver before the ride to avoid scams.
Pros: Taxi is a prevalent type of transport in Vietnam. In Hanoi, you can easily catch a taxi, no matter if it's a traditional taxi or tech taxi. Taxi quality in Hanoi is also quite good, so you do not need to worry much when choosing a taxi to travel.
Choose a taxi for your safe and convenient trip
Cons: Traveling by taxi at rush hour will make you stuck in the heavy traffic for quite a long time. If traveling regularly by this type of transport, the fares are not a joke at all. Not to mention that at night, it will be so hard to catch a tech taxi as the taxi price will go through the roof. If you have to travel in the evening, it is highly recommended you choose a traditional taxi with a fixed price. Some famous taxi companies with good service are Mai Linh Taxi and Vic Taxi.
Pros: With the wide coverage of the network, if you travel by bus, you can travel to almost everywhere in the city. The quality of Hanoi buses has also been greatly improved, so you don't have to worry much about this type of travel. The bus fare is particularly cheap at only about VND 7,000 - VND 10,000 / ride. While taking the bus, you can do sightseeing too.
Check out more information on Bus Tours in Hanoi.
Buses are an accessible and economical type of transport
Cons: Bus travel will not be a wise choice when traveling at rush hours because of the endless time waiting for the bus as well as the traveling time. Besides, the bus is often way too crowded with students leaving schools and officers leaving offices at these hours.
If it is your first time in Hanoi, find your tickets on 12GoAsia to travel around and outside of the city
Choosing a type of transport in Hanoi has never been easy, but not that hard if you understand the pros and cons of each one and make out your purposes when traveling. Consider carefully before choosing one and enjoy your safe yet exciting trip in Hanoi.
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© Written by Emily Le for itourvn.com